Rain halts Pakistan’s charge on Day Two

Azhar Ali smashed 157 and Mohammad Hafeez narrowly missed a double century even as wet weather dampened Pakistan’s hopes of forcing a result over hosts Sri Lanka in the second Test

Written by AFP | Colombo | Published: July 2, 2012 3:52 am

Azhar Ali smashed 157 and Mohammad Hafeez narrowly missed a double century even as wet weather dampened Pakistan’s hopes of forcing a result over hosts Sri Lanka in the second Test on Sunday.

Hafeez fell for 196 and Azhar equalled his highest score as the tourists moved to 488 for 4 on a rain-hit second day at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Heavy showers on either side of lunch and just before tea allowed just 44 overs to be bowled on the day,in which Pakistan scored 154 runs. The entire evening session was washed out,with more rain forecast over the next three days.

Azhar,who put on 287 for the second wicket with Hafeez,added 70 for the third with Younis Khan (32) and 51 for the fourth with skipper Misbah-ul Haq (29 not out). The overnight pair of Hafeez and Azhar toned down their aggressive approach to frustrate the Sri Lankan attack.

Their partnership was the highest against Sri Lanka on their home soil for any wicket,surpassing the 258 by Australians Mike Hussey and Shaun Marsh last year. Hafeez fell after a patient knock of seven hours when he was bowled attempting a wild heave off Rangana Herath before lunch. The all-rounder hit 20 boundaries and a six.

Azhar,on 92 overnight,took an hour to reach his hundred,smashing seamer Nuwan Pradeep to the point after being stranded on 99 for 20 minutes. It was Azhar’s third century and second in his last three Tests. But he gifted his wicket away just before tea with a reckless reverse sweep off Suraj Randiv which lobbed easily to Nuwan Kulasekara at point.

Younis,given out leg-before to Herath,appeared unhappy at Australian umpire Simon Taufel’s decision. Herath ended the day with two for 143 while Randiv had one for 107. Pakistan will look to declare early on Monday to give their bowlers time to dismiss Sri Lanka twice in three days.

Brief scores: Pakistan 488 for 4 (M Hafeez 196,A Ali 157,T Umar 65; R Herath 2/143) vs Sri Lanka

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